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Google Touts Chromebooks From XP Upgrade

Stocks in this article: GOOG MSFT VMW CTXS HPQ

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- In today's brave new era of a world without Windows XP support the marketing experts at Google (GOOG) have an idea for you - buy a Chromebook instead of messing with switching to another version of Windows.

As of yesterday, Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report) finally and officially stopped supporting it's ancient but still viable operating system Windows XP. Current statistics show 30% of desktops are still running the software. Windows XP was released for sale all the way back on Oct. 25, 2001.

Microsoft wanted to kill XP off years and years ago, but so many customers were discouraged by the deeply troubled Windows Vista (Windows 6) that they also refused to upgrade en mass to the next OS, Windows 7. By the time Windows XP users realized their software was really showing it's age, Microsoft was touting Windows 8 as the official substitute -- XP users refused to embrace that one too.

So now, despite yesterday's release of the major upgrade for Windows 8.1, there are still millions of Windows XP users either looking for third-party software to protect their aging systems or being forced to upgrade to Windows 7 or 8.1. Or, if Google has its way, upgrade to a Chromebook.

Google shares were up 0.81% trading at $559.40 mid-morning in New York.

Google has an idea for individuals and businesses stuck with outdated Windows XP computers - buy Chromebooks.

Chromebooks are inexpensive notebook-shaped computers that allow users to access the Web and and all that goes with it through the Chrome Web browser. The idea is for you to do your stuff in the browser and store what you need to in Google's corner of "the cloud." Google wants you to know buying a new Chromebook is an inexpensive way to upgrade your outdated Windows XP box.

There is an ultimate limit to what you can accomplish with a Chromebook. They can't run applications made for either Windows or Mac computers. But, that limitation is also a big advantage in the enterprise. Chromebooks can also be an inexpensive way to connect workers to their tasks.

Which is why Google is offering a new deal to businesses now forced to deal with the Windows XP upgrade dilemma. The company will give $100 off each enterprise-use Chromebook purchased by a company.

Google is also teaming with VMware (VMW) and Citrix (CTXS) for discount solutions. There is a $200 deal for each "Chromebook for Business" device with VMware's "Desktop As A Service" software . Citrix fans are being offered a 25% discount on the company's "ZenApp Platinum Edition" when they buy a new Chromebook for Business. Both programs allow companies to offer cloud access to legacy Windows and custom-built apps.

Chromebooks for Business start as consumer-grade notebook computers and have special management console software (plus support) added. They are currently produced for Google by Acer, Hewlett Packard (HPQ) and Samsung and range in price from $349 to $449. The devices are sold through Google's enterprise division.

Written by Gary Krakow in New York.

To submit a news tip, send an email to tips@thestreet.com.

Gary Krakow is TheStreet's Senior Technology Correspondent.

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